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17 February 2011, 07:38
For the first time in the East Midlands, people can pay to have cosmetic surgery at an NHS hospital.
The Royal Derby are now offering procedures including breast enlargement/reductions tummy tuck and face lifts.
The money raised made will be reinvested into patient care.
The team is led by two consultant plastic surgeons, Miss Mary O'Brien and Mr Peter Russell. The time they spend on private procedures is in addition to their NHS work.
Speaking to Capital, Mary O'Brien said:
"There is a cosmetic tourism industry, but I think we are offering a very safe service here, there is a continuity of care that is very important and it's not a cosmetic holiday that's necessarily in anybody's best interest.
"Particularly if there are problems abroad the legal system out there they may be not benefit these patients and they would probably come back to the UK where the NHS would be involved in looking after them should complications occur."
Vicky Iredale, private patient manager, said:
"We are very pleased to be able to now offer cosmetic surgery at the Royal Derby Hospital. Private practice is a valuable source of income for the Trust, providing funds which are reinvested to the benefit of all patients - both NHS and private.
"Choosing to have private treatment at Derby Hospitals brings several benefits. Patients are guaranteed the personal contact with their chosen consultant, plus they have the additional assurance of direct access to a full range of back-up services, such as intensive care.
"During a patient's stay they can expect to a courtesy visit every weekday from a friendly, dedicated Private Patient Advisor to ensure they are comfortable and help with any queries they may have."
Providing services for private patients is something the Trust has been doing for several years. NHS Foundation Trusts are allowed by the government to run a limited private patient service.
While at the moment it's only going to be available in Derby, Capital has spoken to both Nottingham and Leicester hospitals to see if it's something they would be interested in. Leicester say they are in the middle of becoming a Foundation Trust, and when that goes through it is something they would seriously consider bringing in. While Nottingham are in the same position and are currently applying for Foundation Trust status, but say they would be a bit more wary, as they wouldn't want to create a delay in NHS patients getting the surgery they need for medical reasons.